Washington D.C. Approves Fines for Unshoveled Sidewalks

November 21, 2014

District of Columbia residents who don’t shovel their sidewalks after a snowstorm would face fines under a bill approved by the D.C. Council.

The bill was approved Tuesday by a 10-3 vote. It calls for $25 fines for homeowners who don’t shovel walks within eight daylight hours after a storm. Business owners who don’t remove snow would be fined $150.

Democratic Councilmember Mary Cheh sponsored the bill, saying it will prevent senior citizens and disabled people “from being stranded in their homes.” Opponents had argued that fines might target some of those same people, who may be physically unable to shovel their walks.

Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser was among the councilmembers who voted against the bill. She says it would be difficult to enforce and cause more problems than it solves.

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